What defines something as an addiction? Does it have to be drugs or alcohol to be considered a harmful addiction? This talk presented by Jo Harvey who introduces a new way to think about addiction and the behavior that surrounds it.

Who is she:

Jo Harvey is a recovered alcoholic who used her own struggle of substance abuse to discover non-traditional approaches to treatment of addiction. Harvey is now the Prevention Coordinator for the University of Nevada Reno where she develops and hosts a number of drug/alcohol and sexual assault prevention programs.

Why you should listen:

In this talk, Jo retells the story of her struggle through substance abuse. Harvey also expresses how important the stories we tell ourselves about our own behavior are. “Addiction is something we use compulsively to make ourselves feel better that has negative consequences.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you define addiction?
  2. Harvey uses the phrase “hurt people hurt people;” what did she mean by this? Give an example of a condition or situation where this may apply.
  3. Explain what Harvey means when she says, “we try to normalize our own behavior.” Is this a healthy coping mechanism? Explain.
  4. “Nothing outside of us can save us.” How does this apply to an individual with an addiction problem?
  5. After listening to Harvey’s “re-written” story, has your definition of addiction altered in any way? Explain.

Rewriting the story of my addiction with Jo Harvey


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